Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Alvin Robertson sets path for his son
By Dave Telep
If it’s in you, it’s in you. Elgin Cook (Milwaukee/Northwest Florida State) has basketball in his blood. The 6-foot-6 junior college small forward is the son of Alvin Robertson, one of his era’s top defensive players in the NBA.
Robertson owns an Olympic gold medal and NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, but before that he had the work his way into college.
Cook, like his father, went the junior college route out of high school. Robertson graduated from Crowder Junior College before moving on to Arkansas and now he’s helping his son select his collegiate program.
Although Robertson ended up at Arkansas, Cook’s path might not be the same. According to Steve Forbes, Cook’s coach at NW Florida State, this weekend sets in motion the first two of what could be a handful of official visits.
On Thursday, Oregon hosts Cook. Two days later, Cook shuffles off to Gonzaga. Neither head coach has seen Cook this year but both remain firmly in the hunt to nab this 6-foot-6 forward from one of the nation’s best junior college programs.
The Division I head coach who has put the most face time in with Cook is TCU’s Trent Johnson.
“He’s been down the most,” Forbes said.
VCU is in the mix for a visit and Illinois, TCU, South Carolina, Arkansas and New Mexico are angling for official visits. Illinois’ John Groce, South Carolina’s Frank Martin and Arkansas’ Mike Anderson have seen him this year.
Often times, fans struggle with how to value junior college players. Forbes, a longtime high-level D-I assistant, puts Cook into focus.
“He’d be a middle-of-the-pack guy in the [ESPN] Top 100 because he’s an elite-level athlete and an athlete-level defender,” Forbes said. “He’s averaging 15 points and six rebounds a game. He’s in a high-level league and shooting 60 percent from the field.”
Cook’s able to take official visits this weekend because NW Florida State completed its regular season and is line for a berth to the junior college national championship. Cook’s helped the team compile a 24-2 record this season.